Biogeochemistry of Pacific deep-sea sediments and potential impacts of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining

  • This cumulative PhD thesis explores trace metal distributions in deep-sea sediments and pore waters in two manganese nodule areas of the central equatorial Pacific, namely the Peru Basin and the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ). In the light of new developments in the deep-sea mining industry and policy making, the environmental assessment of the possible impacts of deep-sea mining on the deep seafloor and the biogeochemical processes in the sediment and at the sediment-water interface is critical. For the analysis of mining impacts, a key area of focused research is on the Mn-oxide-rich surface layer, which is also rich in the associated metals Mo, Co, Ni, and Cu, and will be the layer most likely to be impacted by mining. Overall, this thesis sheds light on the small-scale heterogeneity of deep-sea sediments and the contained pore waters in the Peru Basin, reflected in the depth distribution of POC, nitrate, Mn, and Fe. Based on the thorough geochemical analysis, oxygen and solid phase Mn were identified as key parameters for monitoring of potential future mining related impacts because they are representative of the redox zonation and the behavior of other metals. The work provides detailed baseline data for solid phase Al, Ca, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Co, Cu, U, V, Cd, Pb, Zn, and REY and pore water Mn, Co, Cu, Mo, U, V, Cd, As, and REY that increases our knowledge of the biogeochemistry of trace metals in deep-sea sediments and provides a basis to assess future potential anthropogenic impacts, e.g., polymetallic nodule mining. It furthermore increases our understanding of the distribution of REY in deep-sea sediments, and the ongoing alteration of REYSN patterns during early diagenesis in the CCZ and the Peru Basin in a variety of redox conditions.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Sophie Anna Luise Paul
Referee:Andrea Koschinsky, Michael Bau, Sabine Kasten, Thomas Kuhn
Advisor:Andrea Koschinsky
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1008772
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Language:English
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2018/10/29
Date of First Publication:2019/07/09
Academic Department:Physics & Earth Sciences
PhD Degree:Geosciences
Focus Area:Health
Call No:2018/37

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